Mondays are kind of brutal around here.
I freely admit that I am not my best on Mondays. A weekend of relentless family togetherness leaves me feeling depleted and exhausted, even if it’s been mostly fun. (And it was. Ron and I went for breakfast early on Saturday, just the two of us, and got the groceries done while the store was still empty. Harry played in another Warhammer tournament and won best overall, despite playing all three games against adults. We all went to see the Lego Movie and had an unqualified blast.)
But all of those things are noisy. And crowded. At one point yesterday morning Michael was making pancakes for breakfast, and it fell on me to try and keep the kids out from underfoot. All three of them were touching me, trying to sit on me, cramming far too close and talking directly into my ears.
I am never rested come Monday morning, and when you introduce three usually-overtired and always newly-spoiled extra children into the mix it is a huge challenge.
I freely admit a big part of the problem is me. The usual noises of four children playing seem more intrusive, louder, more painful. I have less patience on Mondays. Louis’ rambunctious bossiness, Pixie’s hypersensitive weepiness, Daisy’s thoughtless destructive impulses, George’s short-tempered yelling – they all seem more pronounced than usual, and even though I know they are generally behind on their naps and thus crankier, part of it is that I’m craving silence and solitude at a time when they need me to be more engaged.
After listening to them whine and argue and tattle and boss one another around for two solid hours this morning, I had enough. I bundled them all up in record time and threw them out into the backyard. I’ve learned (the hard way!) that once kids reach a certain age they need minimal supervision outside; in fact, my presence makes them less likely to play together in imaginative and creative ways, not more. So I moved some baskets of clean laundry near a window, and started folding while I watched them.
By and large, it was successful. Oh, Daisy still wailed like a banshee every time she fell down because – newsflash! – SNOW IS COLD, GUYS. I could still hear Louis trying to boss everyone around, at least at first… but as the minutes passed they started to relax and play. Pixie has finally mastered pumping her legs in the right rhythm to get her swing moving. George can climb the ladder to the slide platform like a champ. Eventually even Louis found that no one was paying attention to his rule-setting and decided to just enjoy himself rather than trying to be The Big Bossman In Charge.
It was a blissful hour.
Then it was time to come in for lunch. Louis – despite repeated warnings – was playing with his food, acting foolish, and distracting the other kids, so ended up being removed from the table. George wouldn’t stop chatterboxing, whether his mouth was full or not. Pixie took nine minutes by the clock to eat a cheesestring.
They won’t run outdoors in the yard but they won’t stop running in the house. Louis’ bossiness is back in spades. George needs a nap; Pixie and Daisy, ditto.
Let’s all say it again – I HATE MONDAYS.